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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Civil Services Mains 2009 : Few Pointers

First of all I would like to convey my congratulations to all of you who have cleared the first hurdle (prelims).Those who have for some reason or the other faltered in this first stage should not not lose heart and instead analyze what went wrong and start preparations anew for next year's exam. Utilize the time that is available to make your next attempt the best one.
Coming back to those who have cleared this time and gearing up to write mains, with my experience of having written civil services (mains) four times I can say that these next two months are going to be absolutely critical in determining how u fare at the mains stage of this exam.The written exam carries 2000 out of a total of 2300 marks and a superlative performance here can take away much of the ambiguity associated with the interview stage.
The strategy that would pay dividend is one which suits the individual and not a one size fits all. If one feels comfortable with optionals then maybe general studies should be the focus area or vice-versa.One would do well to remember that one needs to prepare three papers (two optionals and general studies)and essay and adequate time should be given to all of them.
For current affairs, keep scanning the newspaper and make own notes for new terms(for eg. Af-Pak Policy)which can be potential 2 markers.Also one should start reading books that are available in the market for 2 markers.Reading few pages of different sections everyday before going to bed would be a good break from monotony of studying and also build your confidence.
Answer writing practice is critical to one's success in this stage and must be done for optional subjects to get an idea of how much time it takes to formulate and write an answer. Also one must practice answering GS previous years question papers to get a hang of whether one would be able to complete the paper in time or not. Do not write anything that is superfluous especially in GS as in doing so you will hardly gain any marks but will end up losing precious time that could have been utilized for answering other questions. Be precise and to the point in answering the questions. Even in optional subjects beating about the bush will pull down your score, so avoid it.
One request to all the readers and well-wishers of this blog : Please go through the archives and the comments section before posing your queries as 9 out of 10 times these are repetitive in nature. Also,note that this blog is a voluntary collaborative effort and unreasonable expectations like personal replies on emails simply cannot be met.For queries regarding selection of optionals, I have written a separate post and for queries on syllabus of optionals or scheme of exam please visit UPSC website (www.upsc.gov.in).Just out of curiosity, if you were a reader of this blog and have cleared prelims,please post your name and optionals in the comments section.All the very best to all of you !!!

25 comments:

sree said...

Very nice of you sir for giving valuable suggestions to beginners..

what is your opinion about having mathematics as an optional subject for prelims and mains..Is it a scoring subject in mains??
by the way i am planning to write prelims in 2011..

Sandhya said...

Hello Abhishek...Glad to see you back here. Thanks for taking the time out to post for people like us.

I'll be writing mains with Geography and Pub Ad. I remember that your optional was pub ad. Any suggestions on that front? Thanks for all your help

saras said...

glad to see you're back!
i've been reading your blog for a while and managed to clear prelims too...
optionals are geography and pub-ad...
keep up the good work!!

Naga said...

Hi Abhishek...Keep up the good work. Am joining LBSNAA, Mussorie 31st Aug.

Abhishek said...

@sree ... thx ,i dont have any opinion on having maths as ur optional as i only had psychology and public admn as my optionals, one general suggestion wud be to go thru the entire syllabus and previous years question papers of maths or any other subject for that matter and then decide ...gud luck !!!

@Sandhya...congratulations and all d very best 4 mains, seriously u dont want my suggestion 4 PA,other than the first time around i have had quite a tough time with PA ...4 paper2 rajani goyal is very good and practice answer writing 4 sure ....all d very best !!!

@saras...congratulations and all very best 4 mains !!!

@Naga...thx, glad to hear frm u , all d very best in life and career :)

sreenivasreddy said...

thank you for ur kind reply..
seriously i do not find any previous maths papers?? i tried in google but i managed to find some mains papers.

if u come across any resources/websites which has math prelims papers ..kindly reply to this comment..thanx in advance

Indru said...

very useful articles...
Thanks a lot!
Indrakumar, Karnataka

Sri Nivas said...

Hey Abhishek..Wonderful Blog..I've been following since last month..BTW What happened to your results??

Bhikkhuni said...

hi abhishek! just wanted to thank you for your very useful blog. it's the best online guide for IAS aspirants. all the best for everything! :-)

suhasini said...

Many compliments for your blog. It is indeed a good source of guidance for UPSC aspirants. I am planning to appear for Prelims in 2010 and I have just taken a printout of the first 200 pages of India Year Book. It is having 1200 pages and I wanted to request you to provide me with some tips - how to go through it effectively ? Pls. let me know.

Thanks!

dharmu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dharmu said...

Hi abhishek,
i have done my B.tech in petroleum engg. i am planning to take Geology as my 1st optional subject.
because i hav interest in this subject. but for GEOLOGY not enough study material & papers are available in the market. also no coaching institute is providing coaching for GEOLOGY for IAS/PCS accept one institute SKYLIGHT (DELHI).So please suggest me should i go for it or not ????

i am planning to take CHEMISTRY as my 2nd optional subject. i have gone through the syllabus of PUBLIC ADD , SOCIOLOGY, & PSYCHOLOGY......and i feel SOCIOLOGY is understable for me.

Kindly suggest me should i go for chemistry & geology ...or i should go for rest .....

Sir, Do you know anyone who has qualified IAS exam with GEOLOGY subject....if you know then please let me know. THANKS

Nivedita said...

Hey Abhishek
dats a real nice gesture..
i am stuck at the very first stage itself
just cant seem to clear prelims..
could you give me an idea as to where to do my pre studies from?

YASH♣ROCKS said...

Sir , I am new to this CIVILS exam , I am also a computer science student pursuing my FINAL YEAR which will complete by APRIL, can U please suggest me that whether I can Target prelims in parallel with BTECH or whether I should wait for one more YEAR !!

shilpa said...

Hello sir,
Can i refer to Barrons GRE book for psychology instead of Kalpans GRE book for psychology.?

shilpa said...

For Social psychology by Baron and Byrne which which publishers book has to be read for upsc exam?
1) PHI publishers?( available in flipkart.com)

2)OR Dorling Kindsley publishers?
(available in infibeam.com)

I am in confusion plz help me.

Anonymous said...

hiiii abhishek thats a really nice guidance u r giving to people like us..i want to know that i cant afford to do any coaching for ias preperation...my question is that can i still manage to crack ias prelims and mains as well????

Shalini said...

You are doing a great job Sir, Keep going.

john@22a said...

thanks for the encouragement n happy that i read ur comments on it.rite nw im planning to give on zoology n geography in 2011i.is this subject a both scoring ,,?or what is the scoring subject,?

john@22a said...

.,m

Tulika said...

hello sir
i have completed my graduation from electronics engg so electrical engg is my 1st prefrence but i am realy confused about 2nd optional.I am currently pursuing mba so managment is good option but i had not read a single blog over management ,is it a good subject to choose .I am having interest in history also and it is popular subject for IAS. I am confused between history and management .
PLZ GUIDE ME THROUGH
email id : tulip.snh@gmail.com

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Gitanjali said...

hi abhishek can you tell me how many years are required to preapre for civil services examination.

Gitanjali

Rizzi said...

Informative post…. I have a question … I’m looking for online course http://www.wiziq.com/course/119-ias-general-studies-prelimnary-course to get enroll at for my IAS general study preparation. Apart from this what are other things I may do to get hold on GS?

Anonymous said...

I have read this article. It is very helpful for me, for doing my assignment on this topic thanks for this post..
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